Marketing in the accommodation and hotel industry is evolving at a rate of knots and it must often feel overwhelming for property managers to keep up with the latest recommendations and trends in hotel marketing (not to mention the jargon!). We’re constantly reading about social media algorithms changing or the importance of investing in PPC (Pay Per Click advertising). However, one of the most overlooked aspects of marketing, regardless of the industry, is getting the basics right. And when we talk about ‘basics’ we mean starting with your customer.
We’re talking about the difference between developing your hotel marketing strategy and implementing your marketing tactics. Getting your marketing strategy right is so fundamental to your hotel marketing success, we thought we’d put together a quick guide to the things you need to get right to ensure you stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons!
To stand out from the crowd it’s all about personalisation, understanding what makes your property unique and communicating those messages efficiently and effectively using the right marketing channels.
So what are the key questions you need to answer to develop your hotel marketing strategy?
Are you a small boutique hotel in a big city, a country retreat, a motel near an airport or maybe a 5 star resort?
This may sound like a very simplistic starting point but defining the market you operate in leads you to be able to answer the next questions more easily and begin to identify how you fit in to that market.
This is probably the single most important thing to get right from a marketing perspective. Only by really understanding your target customer can you hope to communicate with them in a way that resonates with them and really bring your hotel marketing strategy to life.
The market you are operating in will help you to start to define who you are targeting. But rather than simply saying e.g. “I am targeting young families looking for a week by the beach”, it’s really useful to try and put as much detail to your definition of your target customer as possible. Doing as much research on your target demographic will really pay dividends.
Think about what the ‘family’ looks like: the average age of the family members, what type of house they might live in, what jobs they might do, what papers or magazines they might read, what TV shows they’re likely to watch. It might seem a little odd to ‘profile’ your target customers this way but when you can ‘walk in your customers’ shoes’ and see things from their perspective you can really begin to understand what will appeal to them and what your hotel should be offering to perfectly suit their wants and needs.
Of course, regardless of the segment you are operating in the accommodation and hotel industry is notoriously crowded and competition is incredibly high.
Now that you know more about your target customer, think about who you are competing with to try and attract them. How do your competitors present themselves? What are their key marketing messages?
The nest step in your hotel marketing strategy is to find YOUR unique selling point (USP). What do your guests REALLY want? What can you offer your target customer that no-one else in your market can deliver? Does your hotel have any unique features? Or do you offer special, exclusive packages that no one else locally can deliver?
Nailing your USP is crucial in ensuring you can compete effectively and not be lost is a sea of mediocre marketing messages and promotions.
Now that you’ve covered your marketing strategy, it’s time to start thinking about your marketing tactics. As we covered in our previous blog: How To Market Your Hotel Business, the key platforms for marketing your hotel business have to include a great website design, optimising that website so that it’s found by your target customer when they do a Google search in your locality.
In addition, a Google My Business listing is a necessity as is social media marketing and online reputation management.
HiRUM’s marketing services include an integrated Marketing Reach program to manage all these aspects of hotel marketing for you.
Finally you can’t go past Google own products. A good hotel marketing strategy has to include Google Hotel Ads. This allows you to showcase your hotel in local search results on Google.com and in Google Maps, across all mobile and desktop devices. Travellers will see your ads when they are actively looking for accommodation in your area.
In addition, it offers the opportunity for travellers to book directly with you, bypassing the online travel agencies (OTAs), allowing you to capture more bookings direct, on your own website.
Google has partnered with a select network of integration partners only to connect hotels to this service. HiRUM is proud to be one of these and can provide Google Hotel Ads setup for your property.
The great news is we also currently have a marketing special offer available: Enrol in our Marketing Reach Program before October 31st and you can connect to HiSITE Channel Manager for FREE for 6 months.
With our experience and reputation in the hotel industry, HiRUM are the perfect marketing partners to take your hotel business to the next level. Give us a call today on 07 5574 4990 to find out how to market your hotel business.
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